Saskatoon NewsSaskatoon Real Estate News April 3, 2014

Growing pains

Saskatoon is a city that keeps growing. With a population of over 250,000 people now, Saskatoon needs to rethink its long term strategies. Expansion is enivitable but for the past 30-40 years the city has grown out and more space has been acquired.

One expert in the field, Avi Akkerman -a professor of urban planning at the University of Saskatchewan, feels that Saskatoon’s growth needs to happen vertically rather than horizontally. His concern is the long term impact that boundary expansion will have on the city.

The City realizes that density is a growing concern and is working on strategies however careful consideration must occur before it can happen. Strategically, it needs to be placed in areas that will see the greatest benefit while also considering things like transportation needs etc.

The City has hired a consultant to help shape Saskatoon and it’s expansion policies and is trying to improve the city’s balance. Only 17 per cent of growth is happening in the city centre or established neighbourhoods meaning 83 per cent is occurring on the perimeter of the city. The City is is aiming for 30 per cent of the new growth to come from the city centre which would mean a difference of 70,000 people in the population.

A concern with expanding outwards is the increase in the cost of housing. When land becomes scarce, it becomes more valuable, driving the price up which in turn also drives the price of Saskatoon real estate up. Another concern is that if people or companies want to relocate to the city but can’t find the space to do that, they will start to look at areas outside the city instead. There will be no downtown core, only a city made up of suburbs.

Time will only tell if a better balance is established in Saskatoon instead of focusing on perimeter growth in new areas such as Evergreen, KensingtonRosewoodBlairmore. If you have questions about any of the new areas in Saskatoon or wanting information about infill lots in established neighbourhoods, contact me today.

Kari Calder

Saskatoon real estate agent

Century 21 Fusion